Oct. 22, 2009
By Kim Dannies
This is the season for pumpkins, spice and everything sugar. Why not make some sweet memories by whipping up a batch of homemade cupcakes? These recipes are simple and fun for any age. The pumpkin cupcakes are milder and will appeal to the little goblins on your watch, while the carrot cake cupcakes please the child in all of us. Your kitchen will smell wonderful and your party platter will be ready to rock. A word of caution: Take it easy on the cream cheese frosting if you are planning to go as Elvis or the French Maid this year.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl use a wooden spoon to combine 4 eggs, 3/4 cup canola oil, 2 cups sugar, 16 ounces of canned pumpkin, a pinch of salt, 3 teaspoons of cinnamon, 1 teaspoon baking soda and 1 teaspoon baking powder.
Add 2 cups white flour and stir to combine. Pour batter into cupcake molds (lined with paper cups) 2/3 full; bake at 350 degrees for 18 to 20 minutes, or until cake tester comes out clean. Makes 24 cakes.
Carrot Spice Cupcakes
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl use a wooden spoon to combine dry ingredients: 2 cups flour, 2 cups sugar, 2 teaspoons baking powder, 2 teaspoons baking soda, 1 teaspoon salt, 2 teaspoons of cinnamon and 2 teaspoons of cloves.
Stir in 1 cup vegetable oil, 3 cups grated carrots, 1 cup coconut, 4 eggs, 1/2 cup of chopped walnuts and or raisins (optional). Pour batter into cupcake molds (lined with paper cups) 2/3 full; bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes, or until cake tester comes out clean. Makes 24 cakes.
Cream Cheese Frosting
With an electric mixer, beat together 8 ounces of lite cream cheese and 8 ounces of unsalted butter (room temperature) and 2 teaspoons vanilla or almond extract. Slowly add 1 cup of confectionary sugar (adding more or less sugar for sweetness and volume desired). Beat until smooth. Cool frosting in fridge 20 minutes before using. Generously frost tops of cooled cupcakes; decorate with candy pumpkins and candy corn.
Kim Dannies is a graduate of La Varenne Cooking School in France. She lives in Williston with her husband, Jeff; they have three college-aged daughters who come and go. For archived Everyday Gourmet columns go to kimdannies.com.